Audi Q2 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic

Yellow Audi Q2.

Audi brought its fourth and smallest SUV to the UK market just over a year ago. As mentioned in our first drive report, the Q2 is essentially a junior version of the Q3, quite low and without the high-set driving position which is usually one of the reasons given most promptly for buying an SUV.

It doesn’t have a great deal of luggage space, so if that’s a priority you’ll find better value elsewhere, but it can take four adult passengers quite comfortably.

This is the first Q2 I’ve driven with the 2.0 TDI diesel, which with a maximum output of 148bhp is the second equal most powerful engine in the range alongside the 1.4 TFSI turbo petrol and behind the 187bhp 2.9 TFSI. The test car also had four-wheel drive (valuable only if you use the car on very wet tarmac, as you might, or off-road, as you probably won’t) and S tronic semi-automatic transmission.

Low front side view of Audi Q2 under a dramatic sky.

Many good things have been said over the years about S tronic, or DSG as it’s known in the rest of the Volkswagen empire. In the test car, gearchanges on the move were fine, but pulling away from or returning to a standstill were less elegant, to the point where I often slipped into neutral just before I came to a halt in an attempt to smooth things out.

I’ve had this experience with other DSGs and S tronics, but it seems to be more of a problem with Audis than with other brands in the VW group. Perhaps someone might like to look into this.

The engine is strong, but a lot of its power is absorbed by the four-wheel drive system, so you have to push along quite hard if you want to get anywhere in a hurry. The transmission issue may also explain why I found it difficult to average more than 45mpg, though to be honest I’d have expected to do as well as that in a large SUV with similar power.

Audi Q2 right-hand drive interior.

The driving experience isn’t all that great either, even though the test car was fitted with £575 worth of optional adaptive suspension, and partly because S lines run on 18″ wheels which are less suitable than the 16s or 17s on cheaper versions. For enjoyment behind the wheel I think I’d go for a 1.6 TDI SE instead and save myself a lot of money.

Reversing, or checking what’s coming at an angled T-junction, is a perilous matter because of the enormously thick rear pillars. These are the most important visual feature of the car, but they’re about as useful as square wheels on a bicycle. Audi, for the love of God, please stop doing this.

In all Q2s, the premium feel of more senior Audis is very apparent, and you get a lot of equipment as standard. You also pay for it. The 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic costs £32,665 in its most basic form, and the test car was so loaded with optional equipment (the adaptive suspension mentioned above, plus a powered tailgate, dual-zone electronic climate control, folding door mirrors and various Packs, among other things) that you’d be asked to well over £40,000 for it.

Rear side view of yellow Audi Q2 S line parked on gravel.

To which I say, “Nope.” I realise that Audi customers are prepared to pay extraordinary sums for their cars, but if you’re so desperate to associate with the four-ring logo that you’re prepared to invest this much in an SUV that isn’t much fun to drive and can carry less than almost all its cheaper rivals, I think you need to sit down and have a little talk with yourself.

Price £32,665
Engine size 1968cc
Power 148bhp
Top speed 131mph
0-62mph 8.1 seconds
Fuel economy 57.6mpg combined
CO2 emissions 129g/km
Towing capacity 1800kg (braked)
Euro NCAP (2016) Overall 5 stars Adult occupant 93% Child occupant 86% Pedestrian 70% Safety assist 60%
Information correct at publication date

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Audi Q2 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic
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